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We all have those things in life that irritate us. Those things include people, traffic lights, a broken gadget, speeding tickets, those ten (or more!) extra pounds, being put on hold, a packed schedule, taxes, and thousands of other potential experiences.

What we give our attention to expands. Which means that when we get irritated by something or someone, most likely we’ll continue to keep bumping into the same types of people and experiences that irritate us. Doesn’t sound very promising, does it?!

Irritation gets a bad rap. But irritation can actually be a great thing!

Irritation is a wonderful signal that you need to handle a belief that keeps hitting your crazy bone. Remember, irritation is a seed that can grow into anger, rage, revenge, or despair. Catch it in the beginning stages and you’ll have a much more pleasant future.

Irritation is also a sign that you’re on the verge of allowing something wonderful to happen. Let’s say you open up your email box in the morning to find a note from your mother. She’s complaining again about another family member. It triggers your irritation button. Now you begin to complain about your mom complaining. You notice that you spend the next thirty minutes irritated that she irritated you.

Thankfully, you didn’t respond to her letter in your pissy fit. You decide that enough is enough. You’re tired of letting your mom’s negative attitude get to you anymore. 

You decide to expand your capacity for love. You set an intention for an abundance of fulfilling and uplifting conversations in your life. Ah, you’re feeling better already, and it only took a few minutes of contemplating what you’d like to replace your irritation with.

Why stop there? You can turn around a few other irritations in your life, since you’re heading in a better direction. 

People, circumstances, and things are not actually irritating. It’s your resistance that is irritating you. It never feels good when you’re not allowing the things you’ve mentally put on your desire list into your experience. Thank your irritation for alerting you that you’re locked on to thoughts that feel bad instead of good, and move on. 

A favorite quote from my friend Lance Giroux works great in these instances, “So what, now what?!” 

It doesn’t matter that you just had a negative experience. How do you want to feel, and what do you want to do right now?

Does your computer keep glitching? Stop whining and take action.

Call a friend to refer a repair person. Or upgrade your operating system or buy a new one. Don’t have the money to pay for it now? Let your irritation propel you into changing those circumstances. Decide to get a new client this week.

Irritation is a fire that’ll burn you up, or it can nudge you into solution.

Go ahead and let yourself feel the feeling of irritation, then ask yourself how you can upgrade the situation.

Which irritating thing will you upgrade this week?

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